Friday, July 23, 2010
Natasha James Falls In Love With America Again
"It is not often you get asked to participate in a project that immediately strikes you as exciting, valuable, timely and interesting. In short, one that has all the elements that can bring wide interest and reception, the elements that ring that doorbell called, SUCCESS. In addition, it is even more rare, to be able to contribute and participate in all the very areas that are the most exciting to you. In my capacity as Judge, and writer, and performer, among other areas I am involved in with this project, I look forward to being able to uncover some gems of songs and work with the songwriters to be able to bring them to the spotlight. Dennis Gelbaum, one of the show's Executive Producers, (and co-creator) has brought such a project to me: FALL IN LOVE WITH AMERICA - AGAIN. This is the story of all of us, for all of us, by all of us." Natasha James
Meet Natasha James - the consummate singer-songwriter and the kind of unique artist who can craft visuals merely through her songwriting. Natasha pens works that cross many musical genres and pull at the heartstrings all music lovers... especially country music enthusiasts. (Natasha was nominated for the 20th Annual Los Angeles Music Awards for "Country Artist of the Year," - awards to be given out November 18th, 2010!) Check out Natasha's website at: http://www.natashajames.com
Natasha says, "Anytime I pick up my guitar or sit in front of a piano, I have the ability to write a song. I never intentionally try to pen a tricky hook or intricate melody. I write for myself based on stories that come from my life experiences."
She says, "I don't like a lot of rules. I even hate sidewalks. 'The Restless Kind' reflects the stage in my life where I realized I had been blessed and attained many of the things I had desired including a great home in a nice neighborhood and kids that I love. I had consciously put my music aside to achieve many of these things. But as I moved forward in my life, I missed connecting with people through my music and was becoming...restless. That album brought me back to my music and my desire to connect with people through my recordings and live performances."
Natasha has in fact actually been the "restless kind" from a very young age. Born in San Francisco, and raised in Southern California, Switzerland, Italy and England, at 14 Natasha started playing and singing in local Los Angeles jazz and blues clubs. Two years later, she moved to San Francisco and worked the 'folksy' clubs: Coffee Gallery and the Boarding House, among others.
After two years, she resumed modeling and acting in Los Angeles, studying at Lee Strassberg's while landing small roles as a character actress. Moving to Europe again at 18, she continued singing and playing folk-blues along with her own music while studying for a degree in languages and literature. Quitting school, she moved to London, and then teamed up with a reggae band playing regularly upstairs at Ronnie Scott's and touring northern England. While in London, she ended up writing lyrics to a song composed by Jeff Hunter, which resulted in a move back to L.A. to continue recording, songwriting/arranging and performing with a number of different known and unknown artists.
By this time, Natasha James was modeling on a regular basis, working in films on both coasts, performing her own music in New York and Los Angeles and recording with other artists. She settled in New York City, playing local clubs with her band, Good 'N Dusty', and was being heard on WFMU as well as Channel J for Videophile.
Of late, Natasha James has been a Bay Area staple, performing and recording in different line-ups with material covering Country, Rock, Bluegrass, Blues, Jazz, Americana and Funk. Her favorite tracks on the album include "Just Enough" -- for its compositional value.
She adds, "I love the process of writing and developing a song and especially collaborating with other songwriters. It MAKES you stretch when you work with somebody else and I enjoy that part of the exercise."
On performing live, Natasha's all about the crowd. She says, "I love the feedback and interaction of a live setting. I'm not a person that wants to perform in a vacuum. I once heard a very famous artist say to a live crowd, " I'm not here to entertain you." That's not me. I absolutely am. I'll change a set list or do whatever I need to roll with the feel of the crowd or take us on a journey together." Natasha concludes, "I feel so fortunate to do something I love as an artist."
More about Natasha:
'Tequila Time', the latest release from Highway One Records recording artist, Natasha James, is a triple shot of Triple AAA/Americana already making waves at radio with roots rock hits from country rock, to Tex-Mex, to swampy country blues. From the Stonesy vibe of "Straight to Hell," to the Latin vibe of the title track, "Tequila Time," to the Allman Bros. like slide on "Get Out Of My Way," Natasha James delivers. Her vocals have been compared to Bonnie Raitt, Janis Joplin, Stevie Nicks, Joan Baez; her music to Van Morrison, Los Lobos, Allman Bros, Neil Young, Johnny Cash…see for yourself…you might just wanna join her "south of the border, livin' on Tequila Time." From the opener, "Takes Alotta Love," to the last track, "Modern Life," you'll find yourself tapping and humming to high-energy, upbeat songs of broken hearts, desert sunsets, south-of-the-border bars, NYC east village dawns, and that endless highway always behind and always ahead.
The production is superb, with Ronnie Rivera engineering (Lisa Marie Presley) and 6x GRAMMY winner, Gavin Lurssen, mastering (Allison Krauss/Robert Plant, "Raising Sand"; Oh Brother, Where Art Thou), and a rare musical maturity in the songwriting we also saw on her last record, Bad Judgements (the single, The Restless Kind, went to #10 on the FMQB charts staying in the top 100 for 10 months, and her Billboard article received more than 144,538 hits!).
With Tequila Time, an impeccable collection of songs with soulful driving vocals, Natasha shows us that she's here to stay. The musicianship is excellent with her own band consisting of Steve Evans (Charlie Musselwhite, Roy Rogers, Etta James) on bass, Ian Lamson (Elvin Bishop) on guitar, Herman Eberitzsch (Jules Broussard, Jorge Santana, Malo) on keys, and friends and fellow contributors Rafael Padilla on percussion (Chris Isaak, Shakira, Sara Bareilles), Bobby Black on pedal steel (Commander Cody, Asleep at the Wheel), just to mention a few.
When asked about this latest record, Natasha says, "At first, we were going to call it Modern Life, which is one of my favorite songs -- we also have a video coming out of that one - but Tequila Time is bouncier, and really, don't we all wanna be south of the border, livin' on Tequila Time?"
Fall In love With America Again
Created by Evie Evangelou, Amber Roniger and Dennis Gelbaum, Executive
Producers - Dennis Gelbaum & Evie Evangelou, Co-Executive Producer Amber
© 2010 EvieVision & ramp it up entertainment